The last thing Bill and Gloria Gaither wanted was another niche Bible.
In a market that already had a Precious Moments Bible, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Bible, a BattleZone Bible (with a "weathered metal" cover!), a Surfers Bible, a Thomas Kinkade Lighting the Way Home Bible, and even The Holy Bible: Stock Car Racing Edition, this classy couple didn't want to add to the glut.
So when publisher Thomas Nelson asked if they'd like to do a Gaither Homecoming Bible, their first reaction was, "We don't need another Bible out there," says Gloria. Adds Bill, "We want to emphasize the fact that this wasn't our idea. We were rather reluctant because we take the Bible very seriously."
But as the conversations continued, the Gaithers—who celebrate their 50th anniversary in December—saw that "it would be a great way to help people pick up the Bible that might not otherwise do that," says Gloria. With the popularity of their Homecoming television broadcasts and videos, the outreach potential was too great to ignore.
And so The Gaither Homecoming Bible releases today, complete with 230 devotionals written by Homecoming artists, 89 articles by Gloria, 75 mini-essays on great hymns and gospel songs (including many Gaither tunes), 20 poems by Gloria, and five features on the importance of music. (Download a free sample of Psalms here.)
We caught up with gospel music's First Couple to discuss the project.
You were at first reluctant to do this Bible. What changed your minds?
Bill Gaither: Thomas Nelson's vision is to get the Bible in as many hands as possible. They thought that because we're on TV and in a lot of areas that a regular church program would not go into, and because of our platform of entertainment/ministry, there was a ...